There can be a few practical obstacles to overcome when considering walking to work, but the benefits can be well worth the effort! We all know that walking is good for your health but walking to work can also save you money – no fares, petrol or parking to pay and no expensive equipment required!
Walking to work is totally stress-free compared with some other modes of travel, there’s no need to worry about traffic or public transport delays – you’ll know exactly how long your walk takes!
You’ll really feel the benefits of taking a few minutes to plan before setting off on your walk to work. To help you get off on the right foot we’ve put together this handy guide to the ‘walking-commute’, which will help you stay safe and comfortable.
Tips for the best walking-commute
Know your route
Before you start, it’s worth doing some research on the best route – there can be much nicer routes available than the one you would drive in on. Using quieter side streets or greenway paths as much as possible can really help to make your commute enjoyable.
Using a route planner can take the stress out of figuring out the best route to take and help you to make the most of your walk. For planning a walking journey, we’d recommend using Google Maps journey planning tool.
As you become more confident with your walk to work, you can try varying it to keep it interesting. We’d always recommend trying out new routes on your way home so you really have time to explore!
Get the kit
Over time you’ll figure out what works best for you but here are some of our top tips to help you get started:
- If you’re walking for over 10 minutes you’ll need some comfortable, well-fitting shoes. You can always change your shoes once you arrive at work.
- It’s best to avoid wearing anything big and bulky, multiple thin layers of clothes is the best approach. You’ll warm up much faster than you expect as you’re walking.
- Prepare for rain. A lightweight, waterproof coat isn’t too much trouble to carry and you’ll be really glad for it if you do get caught out!
- If you don’t usually use a backpack, then it might be worth switching to one (or a messenger bag) when you start walking. A backpack will allow you to carry your usual load without putting you at risk of backache.
If you’re required to wear formal clothes at work and don’t have facilities available to change when you arrive then you could consider just walking home and using another method to get to work in the morning. This way you don’t have to worry about your clothes being crumpled or arriving to work sweaty and you can still get in a good workout!
If you are planning on walking to work, it’s a good idea to leave yourself an ’emergency’ kit at the office. Think about what you can leave in your locker, desk drawer or changing rooms. Belonging to leave could be:
- A change of clothes
- Smart shoes
- Loose change
- Baby wipes
Have a Plan B
It might not be possible to walk everyday, the weather may not be in your favour or you might have a meeting you need to look extra nice for, having a Plan B ready will really help to take the stress away from the days you can’t walk, if you’re a usual walking-commuter.
Do you know the public transport routes between home and work? It might be helpful to always have the fare on hand.
Maybe one of your co-workers lives nearby and can give you a lift home in case of an emergency?
Can any of your friends and family be on call to pick you up?
Make sure you’re staying hydrated and as safe as possible on your journey, so you can make the most of the health and cost benefits of walking to work! Check out our article on the benefits of an active commute for more information.